Day 10 – Nick
Summary of Chapter 10
Verses 1-21: As the Great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus’ main focus is for His sheep to find pasture (verse 9) with Him and to be led onwards by Him (verse 4). Good pasture means safe pasture in the context of this passage which starkly contrasts sheep with wolves and Shepherds with hirelings. Hirelings are people who work purely for material reward – the exact opposite of the heartbeat of the Shepherd King.
But the route into the pasture is also key here: Basically, Jesus is saying that you can’t be in the flock and in the pasture unless you come through Him as the Gate (verse 7). Our fundamental, relational position with God is one of submission – coming to God on His terms not ours.
This invitation into the flock of God is deeply personal. Sheep don’t normally have names but not only does this Shepherd name the sheep, He calls them each individually by name (verse 3). Jesus renamed and called Peter like this back in chapter one.
Jesus, The Shepherd, is sacrificially surrendered to the will of the Gate Keeper Father (the Vine Dresser from John 15). He is the One who saves the sheep from lions and bears, prefigured powerfully by King David who literally did the same.
This section also prophetically looks forward to the New Testament church when Jesus refers to having other sheep (verse 16) – other in the sense of other than the Jewish disciples, i.e. you and me! (This is reminiscent of Jesus’ prayer in chapter 17 when Jesus prays for the sheep and the ‘other future sheep’).
The theme of spiritual blindness continues to punctuate the chapter as in verse 6,
Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what He was telling them
Verses 22-42: This section then refocuses back on the unbelief of the Jews in the reminiscent surrounding of Solomon’s Colonnade (verse 23). The winter season reflected the state of the Pharisee’s hearts as they gather around Him not to learn and submit but to test and cajole (verse 24). They don’t see the Song of Solomon.
Jesus begins to explain their lack of belief in terms of ‘because you are not my sheep’ (verse 26) which echoes the thought of Jesus back in chapter 6:44,
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them,
As readers we’re supposed to be frustrated by the unbelief and the wintry heart condition of these people but also in awe of the fact that we have been enabled to see and called to come to Him.
Chapter 10 then seems to lurch back to chapter 8 where Jesus was tested and questioned and then threatened with death by stoning in response to His clear honesty (verse 33). Jesus supposed blasphemy was simply the Son of God graciously responding to their interrogations.
Jesus again evaded their murderous grasp and headed back to the Jordan where the book of John started, in the company of John the Baptist. This seems like an appropriate place to land half way through the gospel as everything that John announced about the Lamb had come to light (verse 41).
In that place many believed in Him!
Key thoughts from Chapter 10
- Jesus as The Shepherd in this chapter is the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isa. 30:21 that, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it…'” It is amazingly comforting, especially in times of attack and struggle, to know that Jesus names you and calls you by that name. He’s got our back personally as well as the church’s corporately. *Corporately is the wrong word when I’m referring His beloved bride.*
- The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (verse 10) which is his only mission given that he is our defeated foe. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”. The devil’s impersonation of an angel of light, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, is very poor. There is never peace, there is never life, there is never fruit when the devil impersonates the Kingdom though he may damage and frustrate it. Jesus comes to legitimately give all of those things to His precious sheep – indeed, life to the full. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, (Isa.9).
- In chapter one John the Baptist announced the Lamb of God and here He is, 9 chapters later, as the Shepherd of the Sheep, having grown in favour with God and with man (Luke 2:52) as He nears Calvary.
Prayers from Chapter 10
Thank you Jesus that You protect us and know us each by name. Thank you that You have given us ‘sight beyond sight’ and that You perfectly fulfil every single Old Testament prophecy in glorious ways. I pray against every attempt of the devil in these days to steal, kill and destroy Your people as individual sheep and as the flock as a whole. Come, Lord Jesus – have Your perfect way with me and with us today. Amen.